The 175-metre Amochhu Bridge has become a new favourite tourist spot for people from across the border, including locals.
The unique feature of the 3D-parabolic semi-through steel arch bridge, the longest in the country, and the scenic beauty are some of the reasons why tourists are attracted to the spot.
At the bridge yesterday, Dipayan Mandal, 30, visited the spot for the first time. He had travelled from Cooch Bihar, an Indian town, which is more than 100kms away from the neighbouring town of Jaigaon.
“I will come back again,” he said. “I would like to bring my family too.”
Along with the bridge’s location, Dipayan Mandal said that the old suspension bridge adds to its appeal. Everything about this place is beautiful, he said.
It was Soumik Roy, 40, who brought his friend Dipayan at the bridge site yesterday.
“I am here for the second time,” he said, explaining he did not want to miss the scenic bridge as he was in Phuentsholing.
Soumik Roy said he has informed everyone he knows in Cooch Bihar about the beauty of Amochhu Bridge. The road has also improved now, he said, adding that a lot had changed since he had visited when the bridge was under construction.
“The bridge is located in such a position that the beauty of it is unmatched,” he said. “Plus, we don’t get to see such scenery in Cooch Bihar.”
Another resident from Jaigaon, Roni Biswas had visited the spot for the third time yesterday. He had already brought his family and friends.
“It feels good,” he said.
People from across the border said they should be let pass through the check post and the bridge would be a good tourist destination.
The bridge took more than nine years to complete since its construction commenced in April 2009. It became an instant hit when it was launched in July this year.
Locals from Phuentsholing go on drives to the bridge during weekends.
In the late afternoon, Sonam Gyeltshen, who was heading to Thimphu from Samtse, had reached the bridge site yesterday. He was busy taking pictures.
“I want to see how the bridge looks at night,” he said. “I am waiting for dusk to fall.”
Sonam Gyeltshen, who is an engineer, said he worked in Samtse for seven years and had seen the bridge take shape. “I heard the bridge looks beautiful at night in the moonlight,” he said.
The policemen and the immigration officials at the Amochhu Bridge check post said more visitors come during the weekends. The bridge connects Phuentsholing and Samtse internally. The travel distance between Phuentsholing and Samtse is reduced to 57km now (internally) from 81.2km, which was through the Indian highway.
Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing